A new relationship. Nice beginning, first few months of smooth sailing and boom – you have an argument. Things were said, a door was slammed, someone stormed out, someone fired an insult. As the relationship is fairly new you have no idea where you stand. In fact, you still might be questioning yourself if you were ready for that relationship in the first place. So what do you do now? You’re scared to lose them, but you’re equally scared to feel like you’re messing up again. And what on earth will you tell your friends, especially after posting that loved up shot on Instagram last week.
A battle of injured egoic perception of self against the battle of your true essence. You know who you are and you know your partner is a good person. You know that on a deeper level we are all connected and, as souls, everyone is equally beautiful. But you have also lived with your personality traits, beliefs and habits for so long that it’s damn hard to separate the made up identity, aka ‘the saboteur monkey’, from the real you.
And if you ask yourself, ‘Who am I really?’ and start de-constructing those false beliefs you will find dark bits, sadness, deep wounds, pain, lack of self worth, anger and rage which all stem from past experiences. It doesn’t matter how well you cover it up – we all have darkness inside. It’s just a part of being human. Even in nature – as night follows day; the rain follows sunshine.
Wounded? That can’t be you, right? Things are going wrong so maybe the person you’re with is the one who has issues and cannot understand you. Let me ask you something; can you understand yourself? Are you willing to work on yourself, to transform your character, to be more accepting and forgiving towards yourself and others? Are you ready to really get to know and love all aspects of you? As Carl Jung (a Swiss psychiatrist often called one of the most controversial psychological theorists) so rightly put, “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
Looking inside your shadow and fully accepting yourself for who you are will be one of the most difficult things you ever do. An old idea of self, expired beliefs and past experiences will often haunt you and threaten to take away sanity and pieces of happiness you still possess. It is easy to advise someone else what to do; how to raise kids, how to solve problems with their partner and how to live, really. Yet when it comes to ourselves we are often clueless, confused and can’t seem to find the way forward.
When faced with choice, especially around relationships, it’s so easy to act childlike and throw a tantrum so just you don’t have to admit to yourself that you are scared and would rather sabotage the relationship. So you find excuses: long hours at work, crazy training regime, time consuming hobbies and no way you could commit to someone, as you do not have the time, right?
And then you look for supporting evidence: your partner said something you didn’t like, they didn’t call you when promised, and the colour of their shirt is just hideous. Congrats. You convinced yourself again – just look at the evidence you’ve gathered. Oh, and in case you still have any doubts, don’t forget to call your friends – especially the ones who always agree with you no matter what you say.
But what if you’re missing out on something wonderful? What if your vision is so clouded by made up logic that you’re ultimately pushing away your soulmate? Will you find that closeness and intimacy, that only opening up to someone can bring? True – to fully open up requires to peel off layers of self and become vulnerable. Again. But guess what? You can’t buy a fulfilling relationship in a market stall nor can you store it on a shelf like a book you don’t fancy reading today. Because ‘when I am ready’ may never come so why choose to postpone love?
Or perhaps the relationship itself is wrong. And even if you know it is, why do you try so hard to hold onto someone who’s not for you? What really scares you about closing the door? Surely it can’t be that Instagram photo.
Don’t fear failed relationships; fear those that you learnt nothing from and kept repeating same patterns over and over again. Because sometimes it’s just about the lesson of truly standing up for yourself, listening to your deepest heart’s desires and saying no. Because sometimes it’s just about learning to love you first.
I am not here to tell you what to do or who to follow, for there’s only one voice you should follow – yours. Because the only way to happiness is to be true to yourself. After all it’s easy to lie to a parent or work colleague and tell them you’re fine, but there is only so long you can lie to yourself. You know the truth – admitting it is the hard part.
Your life will only change when you commit to being true to yourself no matter what. Forget everyone around you. Forget their advice, their opinions and all the good they ever wish for you to experience. Ask yourself – rely on your intuition. Only you, in the depths of your being, know what’s right for you, but you have to choose to live your own truth. This choice is never easy to begin with, but as with everything in life the more you practise the easier it gets.
So stop for a moment and glance back; you’ve been trying to run away from yourself and it hasn’t been easy. How much worse can it be to live with yourself instead? And if you really feel like you don’t know yourself and what you want, then just ask this question: ‘what would someone who loves themselves do?’ Ideally, keep asking this question daily – as many times as is needed: when it comes to food choices (what a wonderful diet advice), how to spend a Sunday afternoon or when you can’t decide whether to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Teal Swan wrote a powerful blogpost titled ‘365 Days of Self Love’ in which she advises to live by this question for an entire year to learn the true power of self love. This, of course, requires commitment on your part, but as everything in life worth having – it all starts with saying yes. And remember, magic hides outside your comfort zone.